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President’s Letter Summer | 3rd Qtr 2020

Hello, Friends of Applewood!

I have some thoughts I would like to share with you on the current state of our country. As we have recently re-opened for dine-in at both of our restaurants and I reflect on the current crisis, I am disheartened. 

First, I want to comment on how thankful I am that our Applewood family is healthy, happy, and survived the national shutdown of travel and tourism.

Now, having said that, I must call out the disparaging remarks the media have shared on the coronavirus. While this is a serious disease, the media have been using and abusing it to create division among us. They are exploiting small segmented news to create divides between republicans and democrats. They are reporting their personal views instead of reporting the honest truth. The press is causing stress, hate, anger and division among people…they are increasing their rating/viewership and readership by not basing their reporting on true facts but instead reporting their version of the truth to spark popularity and interest. 

I am concerned with the growing rate of panic and fear that is being spread throughout the country. We must reflect on what the response to the virus is revealing about American society on social solidarity and cohesion. When there is too much hatred, a democracy won’t function properly. You get exactly what the founding fathers feared most, as Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.” 

We have not been able to or even “allowed” to confront this pandemic as a unified people because of the thoughts and opinions of those who are loudest. Social media essentially gives people a megaphone, so it’s very hard to know what the general public are truly thinking. It is clear that this pandemic is turning into just another culture-war issue, where people on one side see what they want to see and people on the other side see what they want to see. We can’t share facts, strategies, or even coordinate behavior because of our polarization.

The media has preyed on combined isolation with fear of others during this crisis. I hope you are given the chance to form your own thoughts and opinions based on facts and not what the media is trying to make you believe. 

Thank you for reading and please know that your health, safety, and well-being are of utmost importance to our Applewood family. We are working hard every day to keep our guests healthy and well-fed! 

Thank you,

William B. Stokely, IV President, Orchard Foods